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Graveyard of Honor

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Sep 07, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Action director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale, Tora! Tora! Tora!) created one of his most unusual yakuza films with Graveyard of Honor, a highly stylized account of the life of Rikio Ishikawa, a strong arm man who works for one of Japan's biggest crime families. In one brutal scene after another, Fukasaku documents the downward spiral of a sociopathic thug who will do anything to survive in Japan's decadent underworld of drugs, murder for hire, and prostitution. Graveyard of Honor is a brutal and unsparing look at the modern Japanese yakuza—men who live without a code of honor.

Special Features

  • A Portrait of Rage, a 20-minute video essay
  • On The Set with Fukashaku, an interview with assistant director Kenichi Oguri
  • Liner notes by Tom Mes of Midnight Eye website
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Director filmography

Product Details

  • Actors: Tetsuya Watari, Tatsuo Umemiya, Yumi Takigawa, Eiji Gô, Noboru Andô
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Writers: Fumio Kônami, Goro Fujita, Hirô Matsuda, Tatsuhiko Kamoi
  • Producers: Kazumori Higashi, Tatsuo Yoshida
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002KPHV0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Graveyard of Honor" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ernest Jagger on January 3, 2007
Format: DVD
This Japanese film, "Graveyard of Honor," intrigued me for a long time, therefore, I decided to purchase it a few years ago, and was not disappointed. Having seen many Japanese films: mainly samurai, drama, horror and some comedy; I decided to take a deeper look at the yakuza. And I found a film that I would highly recommend to all viewers. If you ever wondered just how far the world of the yakuza has strayed in terms of honor, then this film will enlighten you. Director Kinji Fukasaku, who is well known for his yakuza films, has probably made his best one with this film. He shows the viewer just how far the yakuza has strayed from its once code of honor and ethics. The film, released in 1975, takes place in post-war Japan.

The main antagonist in the film is based on the real life yakuza Rikio Ishikawa (Tetsuya Watari). The film is done in a 'mockumentary' style where the viewer is allowed to see just how debased the yakuza have become: And these yakuza are not very honorable men either. Rikio Ishikawa was actually from the same village as director Kinji Fukasaku, so I am sure as the director he knew the reputation of this yakuza pretty well. I always used to get a kick out of the Zatoichi films, where Ichi would disparage his own yakuza bosses as being no good, or the samurai being without honor. And the 'Zatoichi' films took place in 1840s Japan. Apparently, the yakuza never changed. I recommend the film if you want to see just how far the yakuza have sunk, and what they are about. The film is highly recommended. [Stars: 4.5]
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Format: DVD
I have not yet seen this DVD version of the film, but I assume that this Home Vision Entertainment DVD has a much better picture quality - keeping in mind that this film is from the 70s. It is a very entertaining and stylish yakuza film from famous Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku. Fukasaku was made famous because of his great yakuza films including this film and the "Battles without Honor" (aka Yakuza Papers) series. This is highly recommended to anyone who likes gangster films.
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Yes. This yakuza masterpiece is an eclectic mix of violence, honor, blood and more violence. It's based on the events surrounding real-life bad-ass Rikio Ishikawa. He will not let anything get in his way, regardless if he has a plan. Well, he has a plan, and ultimately revolves around one thing...MAYHEM. You tell this cat not to do something, and that's what he does. "Hey Rikio, it's against the code to attack our boss" "Really? I guess i gotta shank him in the neck with a kitana blade." "Hey Rikio, stay out of Shinjiku district or we'll kill you." "OK, I'll be there, let's have drinks and a knife fight." He is without much logic and full of wanton abandon.

the cinematography is trippy, moving from handheld camera angles and then bouncing to sepia flashbacks (what's with Japan and sepia anyway?). the director did a massive job capturing Ishikawa's chaotic personality. In fact, the dude who plays our "protagonist" is the same guy who starred in the god-awful "Tokyo Drifter". Well, I guess this flick is his twisted redemption.

I'd have given the film 5 stars, but quite frankly I chipped away at the score because of a rape scene. Couldn't they imply rape instead of showing it? Then again, that's a philosophical question that needn't be argued here...anyways, this flick is good and worth your cash, especially if you like vicious gangster films from the land of the rising sun.
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The production values in GOH are fine, which confused me because nothing else in the mix made sense. Sociopathic yakuza alienates everyone all the time, again and again and still gets treated well and honored in 'legend'.

Oh. That '30 years of madness' was written on his cell wall after he'd used, betrayed, denigrated and killed all who helped him. It'd say '93 Minutes of Madness' re this docu- nightmare.
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